Physiology of the Brain with Jacob and Joseph

The Friday Review

Check by weekly for a quick glance into the world of neuroscience. News, media, discoveries, and some listener engagement - we've got it all for you, each and every Friday. 

September 22

Keeping it consistent - two weeks in a row of the Friday Review. For us, that's quite a monumental feat.

Included this week are two episodes from my favorite Podcast, one featuring my true "celebrity" crush (cause he's actually a professor of Neuroscience at Stanford, which I'm not quite sure qualifies for celebrity status...) and the other is one I've deemed as my favorite Podcast episode ever. Yeah. That big.

We've also got some interesting new stories from this week in Neuroscience, including one exploring sleep (or oddly enough, a lack thereof) as a therapeutic method for Depression. 

Thanks for checking it out! We'll see you next week! (And I guess really on Monday even before then...)

Some of the All-Time Great Episodes from and All-Time Great Podcast, RadioLab.

"New Baboon"

In New Baboon, hosts Jad and Robert explore the concepts of war and peace, inviting neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky to offer a unique perspective on this age old question. Together, they explore what it means to be human, why we fight, and what peace might look like, sociologically, evolutionarily, and neuroscientifically.

Download available on their website here ( or on Apple Podcasts on "RadioLab" from WNYC Studios. 


Our concept and thoughts about evolution seem to be pretty well established, right? Over time organisms adapt and species slowly grow in complexity. In that sense, evolution works towards complexity, right? In Shrink, hosts Jad and Robert invite science writer Carl Zimmer to break down a new and radical developing theory: evolution is not unidirectional. What if it could also move..."backwards?" Together, they explore this radical idea inspired by the continually developing body of literature about Megaviruses and what sort of deeper implications may exist among those thoughts. 

Download available on their website here ( or on Apple Podcasts on "RadioLab" from WNYC Studios. 

And in case you missed last week's episode...

On Cockayne Syndrome, check it out here ( or on Apple Podcasts. 

What's Up In the World of Neuroscience?

"Newly Identified Role of ApoE4 Suggests Possible Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer's" (

We hit a bit on this one in our Alzheimer's episode. If you recall, ApoE4 is the strongest factor in predicting the development of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), but scientists haven't really known what it does. Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have begun to possibly reveal underlying functions that may contribute to AD pathology, which could be huge for future treatment targets. 


"Self Control May Not Dimish Throughout the Day" (

This one doesn't quite have the same implications as the previous, but it's an interesting read nonetheless, exploring how task motivation may or may not fluctuate as the day continues onward. It's an easy read, quick but kinda neat. 


"Controlled Sleep Deprivation May Help Reduce Depression" (

With the collective worry about American dependence of pharmacology in general, many researches have been attempting to better understand and explore the efficacy of different treatment options, both separate and in conjunction with other drugs. This study is perhaps the most fascinating I've seen, exploring how a lack of sleep might effectively treat patients with Major Depressive Disorder and trying to separate less sleep as a side effect of typical antidepressants in order accurately describe that possibility for treatment. 

Joseph Ramsey